I Could’ve Had a Buick V-8

Leonardo is the ultimate Renaissance Man, no? There have been others, of course, but who else had the good fortune to live in an era of constant violence, political turmoil, religious intolerance, and open sewage?

So, if you’re a writer in the 21st century, then are you a Renaissance Digital Ager? A Jill of all trades, master of fun?
A student of life with a liberal arts degree? Would you like fries with that?

You’d better be.
Because if you have a literary passion and the compulsion to write about character — a spy who can’t lie, a vampire with gingivitis, a private dick with ED — then you have to know everything important to that character.

If that private eye of yours is driving a big honking 1957 Buick Super Series, then you’d better be damn sure you know the kind of engine that car had. I think it’s a Nailhead V-8, but don’t take my word for it; you’re the writer. It’s up to you to do the research. Besides, my character drives a ’67 hardtop pony.

The point is that you’re going to be interested in a lot of different subjects if you’re inclined to write. That means you are probably not a specialist. And that’s okay. Neither was Leonardo. But damn he was good.

So, instead of lamenting your lack of specialty, embrace it. I have. And it only took 47 years. You can do it in half that time.

My advice today, then, is to list all the things you’re good at or interested in. You’ll be surprised how eclectic the list will be.

Here’s a brief list of my interests and hobbies:
* Humor
* Architecture
* Creative writing
* The Cold War
* Geopolitics
* Home Improvement
* Gnosticism
* Genealogy
* Collecting
* Reading
* HP Lovecraft
* Stephen King
* Television
* College Football
* Hiking
* Small shiny objects

Having a list of your interests will make you a better writer. It will help create and know your character. This is true; after all, it’s on the Internet.😳

Now, sally forth and write good works.
Or, barring that, at least get your detective a prescription for Viagra. I have plenty of Rx offers in my spam box.

Peace, from Keith

© Copyright 2012, Alan Keith Parker

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